Microsoft is going all out to promote its much-publicised Windows 2000 software which, the company says, is an ideal platform for the next generation of business computing, addressing the full range of customers' computing needs, from laptops and desktops to high-end clustered servers. The operating system helps organisations Internet-enable their businesses "with a reliable, manageable infrastructure that is optimised for existing and emerging hardware," is the claim. Windows 2000 is Microsoft's latest offering in the operating system space, claiming at considerable enhancements over its predecessor, Windows NT, a market leader worldwide.
After doing a joint announcement with NIIT in Mumbai on the advantages of Windows 2000 sometime back, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. is gearing up to announce the commercial availability of the software in the city on March 13. As part of a nationwide launch road show, it will hold a day-long product exposition for general visitors in each city, including Ahmedabad, Pune, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta. The road show in Bangalore has already happened.
N.B. Sundar, product marketing manager, Microsoft India, says, "Through these road shows, we aim to provide our customers and the general public with a feel of the product we hope will soon become a default standard in business computing. Judging by the response we received in Bangalore, where more than 12, 000 people attended the event, we hope to reach out to a large number of consumers during the course of the next few weeks."
March 13 will see Hotel Oberoi Towers, Mumbai, hosting the road show which is being supported by Microsoft's industrial partners such as APC, Aptech, Cisco, Compaq, Financial Technologies, Infosys, NIIT, SAP, Seagate and Wipro. Twenty-five Windows 2000 professional workstations and a Windows 2000 server will be available to visitors to experience the product. Besides, Compaq and Microsoft are cooperating to set up a high-end mobile competency centre at the exposition.
APC and Cisco Systems are building the backbone for the event, with Cisco providing the networking infrastructure, and APC uninterrupted power supply for the duration of the exposition. Wipro and Compaq will be showcasing high-end technology solutions for the enterprise space, and NIIT, SSI and Aptech will be providing attendees with an overview of their training offerings for the Windows 2000 platform.
Sanjay Mirchandani, managing director, Microsoft India, is very gung ho about Windows 2000. He says, "Windows 2000 has met with unequivocal support and endorsement from our customers, our partners and the industry at large. We are confident that with this product we will truly be able to empower Indian enterprises to take advantage of the new Internet functionality that is available today. In addition, the superior strength and scalability, the world-class security services and the streamlined manageability, all combine to make Windows 2000 a compelling option for our business customers."
Microsoft has already provided training on Windows 2000 to over 1,000 Indian customers, both directly as well as through the Microsoft certified technical education centres (computer training institutes). About 600 customers, the company claims, have previewed the product and early adopters in the Indian market include Infosys, NIIT, IOCL and the Department of Posts, with many more Indian companies in various stages of evaluation or deployment of the product.
Microsoft also says it has also been working with developers and the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) community in India to develop applications that leverage the Windows 2000 advantage. Over 7,000 developers in India have been exposed to Windows 2000 through various developer community activities undertaken by the company. Eight ISVs will be ready to launch their applications built on Windows 2000 within 60 days of the launch, says the company. These include Citadel, CITIL, Financial Technologies, Infosys, InfraSoft, Kale, Logica, Ramco and Sonata.
Windows 2000 consists of four products: Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. Windows 2000 Professional is designed to be the mainstream desktop and laptop operating system for businesses. Windows 2000 Server is a multi-purpose network operating system for departmental file and print, web and entry-level applications. Windows 2000 Advanced Server is the server operating system for business-critical web, and line of business mission-critical applications. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server is the server operating system for the most demanding levels of availability and scale.
While the first three products are immediately available, Windows 2000 Datacenter will be available in about three-to-four months. Windows 2000 Professional requires a 133 MHz Pentium compatible system, a CPU, 64 MB RAM and 1 GB disk space. Windows 2000 Server requires the same things; the only difference is the requirement of 256 MB RAM. The Windows 2000 Advanced Server also requires the same system composition as that required for the Windows 2000 Server.
With Windows 2000, Microsoft hopes to reiterate its stated objective of empowering people "through great software -- any time, any place and on any device."